Did you hear?... Dennis Madsen makes it to Nepal

Dennis Madsen may be the CEO of REI, a mecca for mountaineers and those aiming for adventures in far places, but he's been dreaming of heading to Nepal since, well, 1963.
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Dennis Madsen may be the CEO of REI, a mecca for mountaineers and those aiming for adventures in far places, but he's been dreaming of heading to Nepal since, well, 1963. That year, as a sophomore at West Seattle High School, Jim Whittaker dropped in to tell his story of ascending Everest the previous spring. Whittaker graduated from West Seattle also. "I was captivated by the story and hoped one day to see Everest for myself and experience the culture and the people of Nepal," Madsen told SNEWS®. "Little did I know that it would take me 39 years to fulfill this dream. It has been a thread that has run through my life ever since that day. It sparked my interest in the outdoors, brought me to REI to work as a high school kid, and kept me in the mountains almost weekly in search of fun and adventure." In late April, he made it to the country of his dreams -- of course, as a part of a REI Adventures trek to the Everest Base Camp. He spent three weeks with four REI members working their way from Kathmandu to Kalapatar and back. It took a few days for the others to realize whom they were with, but Madsen said that didn't make much difference to anybody since they were more concerned with staying well and making the goal. SNEWS® View: A prime example of the impact that one high school presentation can have on a kid. Little did Whittaker know at that time that he was talking to a group that included the future CEO of REI, and that he would have that kind of impact. Everyday, no matter what we do, we could have an impact on some youthful mind and his or her future, which shouldn't be something to forget. SNEWS® talked to Madsen about his adventure, about which he was just gushing and already talking about going back. Waiting for 39 years was worth it, it seems.

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